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Book Marketing 101

Long before your book launch or book signing event takes place, you’ll need to start building a buzz about it. Letting people know – and then remind them often – this is critical to your book’s success, and the more media you can get, the better.

Start With the Book Marketing Basics

light_bulbThis includes your own blog and social media networks as well as your email list. Create an upcoming events page on your site and list all the locations where you’ll be speaking or where you’ll have a book signing. Create social friendly images to share on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Write blog posts about your book and be sure to mention your next events.

You can either use your existing Facebook Business page or create a new one just for the book. Think this through, it requires quite a bit of work and maintenance to build multiple successful platforms on social media, before you create 2nd or 3rd accounts, be sure you actually need them.

Create Facebook events for each book signing, and personally invite Facebook friends who are in the area. Steer clear of mass invites of everyone you know, however. Local, offline events can realistically only be attended by those in the area, so inviting people you know won’t be able to attend is just annoying as is sending group instant messages on Facebook – that is an instant unfriend in my book.

Once you’ve got a base of operations set up with your blog and social media accounts, it’s time to branch out.

Hit the Podcast Circuit

Podcasting is HOT and a great way to get your face (and book) in front of a much wider audience. There are countless podcasts and it can be a bit overwhelming. Try running a Google search for “50 best [your market] podcasts 2017″ the results will include loads of options. Always be sure to listen to the show and familiarize yourself with the requirements before you pitch.

For best results, you’ll want to start looking for interview opportunities several months before your launch or event. Be sure you’re ready for the “introduction” by creating a compelling free opt-in gift and include the link in your interview bio so you can drive your interview traffic to an opt-in page made just for them. This will allow you to build your mailing list, which will, in turn, help you promote your launch or fill your book-signing event with raving fans.

Be sure to connect with the hosts on social media and when your interview is live, generously share online. Inquire whether the host would like a copy of your book and perhaps run a content to give away a book or two.

Guest Blogging works too

The strategies outlined above also work for guest blogging. Here are a few ways to research potential guest blogging opportunities:

  • Browse the top sites by category on Alexa.com
  • Do a search on Twitter for popular personalities in your market
  • Search YouTube for top channels in your category
  • Set up Google alerts for your most-used keywords

Create a Media Kit

Your next order of business is letting the media know about your upcoming launch or event, but before you do that, it’s important to be prepared. You want members of the media to be able to find all the info they need quickly and easily, and the best way to do that is to create a media kit.

Make your media kit easy to find, and be sure to include a link to it in all your press releases, website, email signature and other correspondence with the media.

Press Release or Media Pitch?

Once the darling of SEO pros, online press releases have in recent years fallen out of favor. Much like guest blogging, their value in terms of backlinks has fallen off significantly, but they do still have a value, especially for offline events.
Starting 6 to 8 weeks before your event, distribute targeted press releases to the media outlets in the location where you’ll hold your event. Some points to remember:

  • Write a press release, if you are no familiar with the format hire a copywriter to write it for you there is a specific style and cadence to a press release and a rookie can be spotted immediately.
  • Submit the press release on an online site such as PRWeb or ereleases (both of these sites also offer writing services and can draft the press release for you for a fee).
  • Note that the headline is the single most important element of a good press release. Make it count. and use your keywords.
  • When the press release is submitted online, it will be distributed to targeted media based on the criteria you select when completing the online forms.
  • You will also receive a link to the press release I like to include this in pitch letters to selected media.

Create a general pitch letter that can be customized and sent to local media and just about any other media you want to connect with, be sure to include a link to the press release and a link to your media kit, do not include attachments. Make a list of the following media:

  • Radio stations
  • Television stations
  • Daily and weekly newspapers
  • Local magazines
  • Bloggers
  • Local talk shows

Consider Paid Advertising

While it’s definitely not a “must do” item, paid advertising spots can be a cost-effective way to get the word out about your event. If you have not done this before, get help it is a bit tricky until you get the hang of it and you will just hand your money over to Facebook.

  • For local events, use geo-targeting, you can create Facebook ads that only show to those in your local area, which helps keep the cost down. You might also consider paid advertising in your local newspaper or on local radio or television stations.
  • Branch out and create Facebooks ads based on select custom audiences.

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  1. Deb Coman

    I am thrilled with this informative post!! And, as usual, not only spot-on, but creative. Thank you so much, Donna Cravotta!

    • Donna

      Thanks Deb! You are my favorite audience!


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